Russian economy set to lose $44 billion to cyber crime in 2020 - Sberbank

A hooded man holds a laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him in this illustration picture taken on May 13, 2017. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Illustration

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Russian economy is set to lose $44 billion to cyber crime in 2020, according to estimates published on Tuesday by Russian bank Sberbank, with the shift to online during the COVID-19 pandemic posing new challenges.

The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated cybersecurity concerns as more transactions are now made online rather than with cash after lockdown measures and health restrictions reduced footfall in shops across the world.

Sberbank, Russia’s largest lender with nearly 100 million active clients, said the country’s economic damage from cyber crime may double in 2021.

“On average, we have to deal with 26 billion cybersecurity events every day,” said Stanislav Kuznetsov, deputy chairman of Sberbank’s executive board.

Sberbank, which suffered a leak of customer data in 2019, said it shares its knowledge and experience in fighting cyber crimes with Interpol, SWIFT and other organisations.

The number of crimes linked to bank cards in Russia has shot up 500% this year, interior ministry data showed in October. Sberbank has said it has a 100% success rate in repelling cyber attacks.

($1 = 76.3900 roubles)

Reporting by Alexander Marrow; editing by Andrey Ostroukh and Timothy Heritage